Will You Soon Be Able To Play Mario With Your Mind?

“I have a disease? BULLS***! I fixed it! With my mind!” — Charlie Sheen

Hey, remember when a bunch of scientists hooked up a monkey’s brain to a robot arm, because monkey-controlled robots are utterly awesome? Yeah, they’re putting that in the severely paralyzed now, so they can play Mario.

OK, OK, it’s a bit more involved than that. The team at the University of Pittsburgh are hooking up two different types of brain/computer interfaces to patients with spinal cord injuries. The idea is to give the patients more control and independence. One is Pittsburgh’s own monkey-arm-computer-nightmare array of electrodes attached to the brain, the other is a device designed by the University of Washington.

The point is, you can play Mario with your brain, as the picture proves. Sure, we could alleviate centuries of human misery and enable people who can’t walk to live on their own or at least be more independent, but that’s not nearly as important as playing Mario with your brain. Hook up Street Fighter II to that, gentlemen: we’ve got some asses to kick.

[ via the life of the mind at Medgadget ]